Thursday, August 23, 2007

Farmer's Market: Lima Beans!

As part of my lifestyle change, I have been going to a local farmer's market once a week for produce. My goal is to buy sweet fruits to eat instead of junk, and buy veggies to increase my consumption, and try new things. I plan to post about some of the new things I have tried, and my favorite purchases, to encourage all of YOU to try them as well! I urge you to find your local farmer's market and make a trip there. The food is freshly picked and so much better than the grocery store, and, in most cases, cheaper.

So for my first Farmer's Market post, I will focus on lima beans. I can almost hear the collective cries of "Yuck!!!" but wait!! Have you ever tried fresh lima beans?? If not, then hear me out! I am not especially a fan of dried or canned limas myself. They are kind of pasty and tasteless. So usually, I have been buying frozen ones. I buy generic brand frozen Baby Lima Beans and keep them in my freezer. They really are quite good; you should try them. But I digress.

I was meandering along the aisles of the usual fruits and vegetables at the farmer's market yesterday when I saw a table full of bean pods. It caught my eye, because in all my trips to the market, I have never seen fresh beans. I mean, I have seen fresh GREEN beans, but not the "beans" we usually associate with soaking overnight and boiling for hours. These were in PODS. I didn't know what they were, but the sign said "Lima Beans (Butter Beans): $2/bag." And there was one bag left. I snatched it up! Then I asked the guy about them. I had no idea they grew these locally! He showed me how to shell them and said to boil them for at least 15 minutes. So home I went with my new treasure.

I started by shelling them. The pods are bigger and tougher than pea pods, but they shell about the same way. By the time I was done I had a nice bowl of fresh green lima beans. They were firm but not hard like dried beans. They were a gorgeous light green. Here is how I cooked them (an easy but great recipe):

Place beans in a pot. Add fresh cold water to cover the beans by about 3/4 to 1 inch. Set it to high to get it to a boil. Meanwhile, I chopped about 1/3 of a fresh onion and threw that in. I added about a tablespoon of real butter, and a sprinkling of black pepper. Then I took about 2 slices of deli ham and chopped it fine, and threw that in. By this time it was at a rolling boil, so I stirred it and turned it down to a simmer, and left it, uncovered to simmer for 20 minutes. I stirred it gently every so often. If it seems to be sticking, add a bit more water. Then I lowered the heat even mroe, covered it and cooked it 5 more minutes. I dished it up into a bowl, added some salt... and... HEAVEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh my gosh! I have not tasted anything this good in AGES!!! It was so good it made me shudder with pleasure. It was better than any pan of brownies, box of cookies, bag of chips or slab of pizza I have ever had! I sat down and THOROUGHLY enjoyed my yummy limas, and had a second, smaller bowl, and that was my dinner. Truth be told, I had a bowl of them for breakfast this morning, too. That's how good they are. And my body just hummed (see my earlier post about humming foods). Ahhhhhhh. Delightful. You have got to try them.

fresh lima beans recipe with ham
I have to warn you, do not eat the lima beans raw!!! Raw fresh lima beans are toxic. You do not want to eat them until they have boiled for 15 minutes. Anyway, if you can get some fresh limas, try this. If you can't, then go to the frozen vegetable section of your grocery store and get a bag of BABY lima beans and try this same recipe (use half a bag or so). It really is yummy and lima beans are full of fiber, protein and nutrients. They really are good for you.

That ends my first edition of Farmer's Market!! Go try something new and shape your new life!


Chubby Chick said...

I love fresh produce from the farmer's market, too! It's so much yummier than what you buy at the grocery store. And it's so good for us, too! My husband and I just polished off a bunch of juicy tomatoes.

I just feel better when I eat fresh veggies and fruits. It gives me a mental boost because I know I'm doing something good for my body, and it also gives me a physical boost. I have alot more energy when I eat right.

You're doing great so far! Keep up the good work! :)

Anonymous said...

Better yet grow em. In my northern 5a I started vine Christmas limas in a small portable green house in home made self watering 5 gallon containers. Then when they are a foot tall I moved them to the trellis. I am cooking them up now. Henderson's baby limas are in the ground and on their way but 85 day in the 5 gal are here and 67 day baby limas are still growing.

Beautiful Mess said...

Happy to find this recipe! and your bog after all these years :)

Anonymous said...

I grew some lima beans in a square foot garden and they were delicious as well! BTW though, common lima beans aren't toxic raw. There is a wild variety that is, but if the seeds were from a store-bought package, they're perfectly safe to eat raw.

deertap in Nashville said...

Just returned home from Farmers Market and I found fresh, shelled Limas at $4.00 lb. So, I decided, at 68, it is about time I try cooking these babys. Got 'em on now and I used a little Hog Jowl, (yes I live in the south, Nash, Tn.)dehydrated onions, what I call "gold dust" its a seasoning I bought at the wholesale restaurant grocers,(kinda like boullion)but better, dash of white pepper, dash salt and tablespoon butter. Now you have got me so excited I can hardly wait for them to finish. Now all I need is some good corn bread and cooked cabbage to go with them.

Thanks... Happy Eating
deertap in Nashville

Jessica said...

Hi there! Just wanted to say thank you again for the awesome lima bean recipe, my husband and I love them! I seriously try to talk everybody into making them since they're so good.

You can read about my version of this recipe at

Jessica HK of Blog-Inspired Cooking